Frugality? Check. Family values? Check. Sound reasoning? Nope. Mitt Romney’s campaign managed to stay true to the concerns of his base while totally botching the logic behind an infographic claiming that President Obama’s management of the U.S. economy is akin to that of a family accountant gone mad.
In addition to getting the comparison wrong, the “deeply flawed way to look at budgeting,” as Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler puts it, mistakenly assumes that Obama owns the current deficit in its entirety and that the president should have made balancing the budget a first priority.
That first part is not true, as Obama inherited the bulk of it from the previous Republican administration and much of the rest was divided between plummeting tax revenues and the new administration’s response.
As for the second, Beutler quotes Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, as saying: “The budget moves toward deficit every time we have a downturn. That’s a good thing, because it sustains demand into the economy. ... So either [Romney is] making an issue out of something he knows not to be an issue, or he has a loony view about the economy.”
See the infographic below. —ARK
Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo:
Romney posits a hypothetical family, whose income and liabilities are derived by dividing federal revenue, spending, deficits and debt by $100 million. That leaves us with a very poor family of four — surviving on $24,686 a year — struggling with $163,509 in debt.
… Setting aside the specific figures, the idea here is that no household of modest means would ever come close to racking up the same income-to-debt ratio the federal government has right now.
According to Federal Reserve and Census data, that’s not really true — the average household, which houses about 2.5 people, has over $100,000 in outstanding debt, including mortgage debt.